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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry
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Summer Spotlight

With the calendar having turned to 2013, it is not too early to start thinking about the major national sporting events headed to the region later this year.

The Belmont Stakes, to be held on June 8 in Elmont, and the U.S. Open tennis championships in Flushing, Queens, which get underway in late August, are annual happenings. But the arrival in this area of the U.S. Women’s Open Championship (June 27-30) and Major League Baseball’s (MLB) All-Star game at the New York Mets’ Citi Field (July 16) are rare events.

The best women golfers in the world will be playing at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton in late June, marking the first time the U.S. Women’s Open will be held on Long Island. The Sebonack Golf Club, in its current iteration, opened in 2006 and the challenging course was co-designed by legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus and renowned golf architect Tom Doak. Several of Sebonack’s holes are situated alongside picturesque Peconic Bay, images which will draw thousands to the South Fork and be seen by an even broader audience on ESPN and NBC Sports, as well. Ticket information can be found online at An aside: Doak’s company, Renaissance Golf Design, was involved in the conversion of the former IBM golf course into The Village Club of Sands Point.

You have to go back to 1964 to find the last time the Mets’ home field served as the site of MLB’s All-Star game. And MLB chose Flushing 49 years ago as the locale for the mid-summer classic because the since-demolished Shea Stadium had just opened its doors. Baseball’s All-Star game was last held in New York in 2008 at the old Yankee Stadium and is preceded by days of special events. This year will be no different.

The MLB All-Star FanFest at Manhattan’s Javits Center will start on Friday, July 12, and it will welcome visitors through game day, Tuesday, July 16. Meanwhile, Citi Field will host on Monday, July 15, the annual Home Run Derby, too. The New York Mets’ website indicates, however, that few besides those who purchase at least a 40-game season ticket plan (the Mets play 81 home games) can have any expectation of gaining access to All-Star game festivities.

I’m writing about a July All-Star game, in part, because ones that were supposed to be held this month, such as the National Hockey League’s (NHL), were cancelled. Due to the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL Players Association and the NHL, the 2012-2013 gathering of the NHL’s All-Stars, which was to have been held on January 27 in Columbus, Ohio, was scrapped, and the entire season is in danger of not happening.

For whatever reason, this message has not been conveyed to the webmaster at The website’s January 2013 calendar made it appear last week as though a number of New York Islanders games were going to be played there this month. The Islanders’ website does no such thing, and they’re looking even further into the future than I am, inviting visitors to secure 2015-2016 season tickets for their first season at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

Mike Barry is vice president of media relations for an insurance industry trade group and has worked in government and journalism.


Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: